Teens Get Their 15 Minutes Of Fame

In 1968, Andy Warhol said that "in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." That was 16 years before Mark Zuckerberg was born and 36 years before Facebook gave millions of teens a whole new channel to attain their 15 minutes that makes them "celebrities."

It's what teens are doing with their newfound celebrity status that is giving them a branding problem.

Social media is about being a "character." Like many Hollywood characters, the teen characters who are doing the bad, bizarre and outrageous capture the attention of fans and followers. Albeit not enduring fame, but elevated fame. On social media sites we see teens and alcohol. Teens and sex. Teens and drugs. On TV, they've shot someone. If they were a corporation, they would keep their crisis PR team working 24/7.

Wait! Isn't this generation of teenagers credited with being the most cause-oriented generation America has ever produced? Where are they on social media? Why haven't they reached "celebrity" status?



Let's start with "Who?"

  • Emily-Anne Rigel is a 17-year-old linchpin, entrepreneur, go-getter, YouTuber. She's also the founder of WeStopHate, a non-profit organization that is a call to action to stop hate: stop hating on yourself, stop hating on others, stop letting others hate on you.
  • Katie Stagliano, 12. As a third grader, grew a 40-pound cabbage that she donated to a soup kitchen. Katie's goal is to have a garden in every state. She's a tween who is empowering teens.
  • Shannon MacNamara is headed to Rice University with aims to empower girls in Africa through education and has created libraries and helped thousands of students and teachers.

Companies can help these teens elevate their celebrity status. Social media can help these teens prosper and grow. Together, we can empower our teen leaders. That leads to more than 15 minutes of fame -- that's something that will last a lifetime.

Three Easy Pieces:

1. Recognize the problem: this generation has a branding problem that needs to be fixed. There is positive in the teenage world. Teens want to change the world. Teens want to be heroes.

2. Seek the great. Entertainment companies hire people to scour the web to find the next Greyson Chance -- the pop rock singer and pianist whose performance of Lady Gaga's Paparazzi at a sixth-grade music festival became a hit on YouTube and Greyson became overnight sensation. Be the company that searches for the teens who are changing the world. When you seek, you will find them. If you need help, email me!

3. PDA! Reward them. Support them. Follow them. Thank them. We need to do more than drive-by recognition. It's not good enough to simply write an article about teens who are changing the world and then move on to the next shiny object. Tell these outstanding teens and the world you love them. Thank them. They'll do the same in return. The circle and cycle of doing good will go on and on. It will last a lifetime.

In summary, if we empower our teens, recognize them, reward them and show them that you don't need to be a "celebrity" by being on a reality television show, but rather make a contribution to your real life, the world would grow better teens and thus a better world.

4 comments about "Teens Get Their 15 Minutes Of Fame ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. David Murdico from Supercool Creative, June 23, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.

    Nice article, Denise.

  2. Daniel Coates from Youth Pulse, Inc., June 23, 2011 at 11:34 a.m.

    Hey Denise ... inspiring words.

    This generation is well worth the investment of time and attention and your recommendations are a great tool to help others get started.

    Keep up the good work!


  3. Byron Wolt from Speak to Students, June 24, 2011 at 12:25 a.m.

    Great article and I totally agree with you! I have spent thousands of hours presenting to high school students and I meet amazing students’ everyday! For every one crazy student who makes the news, there are literally THOUSANDS of students who do good things every day and there are HUNDREDS of students we should see on TV because they do GREAT things to make their communities and world a better place. Unfortunately, most people only hear about students they see on the news because they flipped out and did something terrible.

    It is true that teens individually and collectively need to brand themselves better, but maybe what is ultimately needed is an organization to do for students what the AARP does for seniors. Short of such a massive advocacy agency, there are many opportunities for companies to connect in a meaningful way with teens and schools in their communities. While benefitting and promoting the amazing young people in their local communities, they will benefit themselves in the process.

    Thanks for calling attention to this amazing generation and offering great suggestions!

  4. Denise Restauri from AllyKatzz, June 24, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.

    Thanks to all for your comments - always appreciated! Byron, AARP - we are working on that - great minds think alike. Someone recently described AllyKatzz as AARP meets the Huffington Post. I was flattered - we aren't there yet, but we're working hard to get there.

Next story loading loading..